Hi, Oryna —
Thanks for your comments. I’m going to try to respond to them, knowing that many points are things we have discussed in person before and simply do not have agreement on. Deep breath…
1. You bring up children suffering. What in this essay lead you to think that this wouldn’t be important to me? Generally people who are activists are activists. We care; we are compassionate. We are not pointing fingers in different directions to deflect. I have been to many anti-violence marches, in Chicago and around the country, from the time I was 18 on. If you saw my social media feed, you’d see that I am often posting information about violence to people all over the world, so I guess I don’t see how this is relevant unless it’s to say that I don’t care, or I can’t simultaneously care about humans and other species. I can and I do; most important, I try to live my life in alignment with those values.
2. Vegans are not the ones domesticating animals. We were, in fact, among the first people drawing attention to companion animal homelessness and the problems with breeding. Any animals I have in my home have been adopted because they were homeless, not because I paid someone who breed them into existence, and I think it would be the rare animal advocate who wouldn’t know better than that.
3. That said, I do not believe the responsible or kind thing to do is release domesticated animals into our streets, which they are ill-equipped to survive. Most vegans are behind low-cost spay/neuter initiatives to keep homeless companion animal numbers low. Again, this is not really relevant to me or what I wrote. This is moving the goal posts. Teach a dog to eat kale salad? Why would I do that? I don’t understand.
4. Your last paragraph, we will never agree on because we disagree on the basic premise that a life can be “humanely” taken from a being who doesn’t want to die. “On a much smaller scale”? And people think vegans are idealistic and out of touch? With our population only increasing, how is this done without a drastic — and I mean DRASTIC — reduction in consumption, but this is something you will never, ever hear the “happy meat” people advocate because they want their elitist products and to look down their noses at the fact that you can get organic meat, milk and eggs at Walmart today. Why? Because organic means virtually nothing other than the kind of feed they were given. That’s it. So scaling way up to meet demand really isn’t going to mean anything significant with regard to cruelty against animals but no one talks about reduction in a serious way but vegans.
What the Native Americans did? What was the population then? How often did people eat animals? And Native Americans aren’t a monolith. There are/were many tribes and ways of living. It seems you were accusing me of romanticizing animals throughout your comments but look what you did to indigenous people. Do animals stop and give thanks? I don’t know but, again, how is that relevant to *my* actions? This seems like a justification that is beneath your fine mind.
This is no edict. Vegans are perhaps 2% of the population and more than 50 billion land animals are consumed each year despite us knowing the links between animal agribusiness and climate change, things are firmly in the corner of continuing the status quo without much concern.